Crystal Mountain Michigan

Crystal Mountain, Michigan is a little hidden gem. This awesome resort has fun activities to do all year round, making it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts who want to enjoy the beauty of Michigan’s great outdoors.

From winter activities like downhill skiing and snowboarding to summer activities like hiking and mountain biking, Crystal Mountain has something for everyone.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the reasons why Crystal Mountain is the outdoor adventurer’s dream come true.

About Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain Michigan
Our Family at Crystal Mountain, MI

Located in Thompsonville, just a short drive from Traverse City, Crystal Mountain Resort is one of the best places to ski and snowboard in the Midwest. In addition to offering some of the best winter sports in the area, Crystal Mountain Resort is also home to a variety of other outdoor activities, such as golfing, biking, and hiking. With so much to do and explore at this beautiful resort, it’s no wonder why Crystal Mountain has become a favorite among outdoorsy Midwesterners.

Whether you’re looking for a great place to downhill ski, cross-country skiing, or just want to get away and enjoy the outdoors, Crystal Mountain Resort is the perfect place to check out!

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at what makes Crystal Mountain an outdoor paradise. We’ll discuss everything from the resort’s skiing capabilities and amenities, to its other outdoor activities and attractions. We’ll also provide insider tips on how to make the most of your visit to this hidden gem in the Midwest! Our family has been making trips to Crystal for almost 10 years now. We love it!

So, whether you’re a novice skier or an experienced snowboarder, grab your goggles, snow pants, heated gloves, heated jacket and all the rest of your gear because Crystal Mountain Michigan has something for everyone. Read on to find out more about what makes this place so special!

Winter Activities at Crystal Mountain

Skiing and Snowboarding at Crystal Mountain Resort

Crystal Mountain Resort is a great place to ski and snowboard, with slopes for all levels of experience. You can choose from 59 trails that wind down the mountain. The Crystal Clipper lift can get you up top quickly and then that allows you to disperse around the mountain to try to find your favorite areas.

One of the things that makes Crystal Mountain Resort so great for families is that there are slopes available for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.

If you’re looking for a challenge, try skiing or snowboarding down Gorge Glades or Buck Glades. Those are steep runs that take you through the trees. Lots of fun if you’re up for that!

The North Face is a great area for some solid blue cruiser runs. We typically spend a lot of time in that area.

The resort offers a few terrain parks for those looking to test their skills on some more challenging terrain. In addition, the resort has a number of lifts to help you get up the mountain quickly and easily.

Ski/Snowboard School

Crystal Mountain Beginners Hill
Learning to snowboard on the bunny hill

If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, Crystal Mountain Resort has a group of excellent instructors who can help you learn the basics in ski school. There is a dedicated learning area with the Crystal Carpets to take you up.

The resort also offers a number of clinics and workshops throughout the season, so be sure to check out their website for more information.


If you’re looking for some après-ski fun, Crystal Mountain Resort has a number of restaurants and bars to keep you entertained. Often times they will even feature live music in the Vista Lounge and a slope side tent right at the bottom of the hill. Lots of fun and great people!

Night Skiing

Night Skiing at Crystal Mountain
Night Skiing!

Oh, and did we mention they have night skiing as well!?? Yep. This is a total plus in our eyes and gives you all day and night to enjoy the mountain. We love skiing all day and grabbing a quick bite to eat with the kids and then letting them go off again at night. They love having the flexibility to come in for a little warm up and head back out.

Tickets and Rental:

Located in the lower level of the Crystal Center, near the Loki chairlift.

Fat Tire Biking

Fat Tire Biking at Crystal Mountain

Fat tire biking is a great way to explore the mountain in the winter. The bikes have large, knobby tires that can handle the snow and icy conditions.

The resort offers a number of fat tire biking trails that take you through the woods and up the hills. It’s a great way to get some exercise and take in the beautiful scenery. So toss on your heated vest and try biking in a new way!

Ice Skating

Crystal Mountain Ice Skating Rink
Ice Skating rink with the Inn in the background.

If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with the family, be sure to check out the ice skating rink at Crystal Mountain Resort.

The rink is open from 9:00am to 10:00pm, so you can skate whenever it’s convenient for you.

In addition, the rink offers skate rental for just $5.00 per person.
So, be sure to lace up your skates and enjoy a few laps around the rink!

Horse Drawn Surrey Rides

Horse Drawn Surrey Ride at Crystal Mountain
Photo Credit: Crystal Mountain

The horse drawn surrey rides are a fun and unique way for Crystal Mountain guests to experience the resort. You can enjoy a leisurely ride through the resort sipping your complimentary hot chocolate. The cost of the ride is $10 per person and it goes about 20-25 minutes. Pick up and drop off is at the Crystal Center.

Outdoor Hot Tub

Relax and warm up in the outdoor hot tub. Located at Water’s Edge. Free to house guests. Super fun experience to sit outside in a hot tub while it is snowing!

Fitness Center

Crystal Mountain Fitness Center
Crystal Spa and Fitness Center

Enjoy the state-of-the-art Fitness Center free of charge for houseguests. They also offer fitness classes that are free of charge to houseguests.

There is an indoor pool and hot tub for houseguests to use as well.

Spa and Wellness

Crystal Mountain Spa
Photo Credit:

The award winning Crystal Spa is an 18,500 square foot spa that waits for you to sit back, relax and pamper yourself. A full spa menu is available for you to choose that perfect service. Massage, manicure, pedicure? Why not! You’re on vacation!

Snow Shoeing

Explore the Crystal Mountain property by way of snowshoe! Very cool experience. We suggest checking out the Michigan Legacy Art Park on your snowshoes! Try something new!

Cross Country Skiing

Crystal Mountain offers over 25km of cross country skiing trails and even has 4km of night time lit trails. These trails have been rated the #1 cross country skiing trails by Midwest Living! See for yourself!

Michigan Legacy Art Park

The Michigan Legacy Art Park is a unique outdoor museum featuring sculptures and monuments from local artists. This park is an extraordinary experience for those looking to explore nature with an artistic twist.

The Michigan Legacy Art Park contains over 40 sculptures and monuments that have been placed along its nearly two mile looping trail. Each of these sculptures, carvings and monuments tell a story about Michigan’s culture and heritage while providing visitors with an up-close and personal view of the park’s natural beauty.

Guests can explore the art park via walking, snowshoeing or cross country skiing to get a closer look at the artwork. The park also offers a variety of educational programs that teach visitors about Michigan’s history and culture.

Summer Activities


36 holes of Golf fun! Both courses, the Mountain Ridge and Bestie Valley, have received 4 star ratings from Golf Digest! They offer a learning center as well as the Crystal Mountain Golf School.


Yep. Archery. Give it a try! They set up targets for you and provide all the equipment. Cost is $20 for 30 minute session.

Fitness Center

Enjoy the state of the art Fitness Center free of charge for houseguests. They also offer fitness classes that are free of charge to houseguests.

There is an indoor pool and hot tub for houseguests to use as well.

Spa and Wellness

The award winning Crystal Spa is an 18,500 square foot spa that waits for you to sit back, relax and pamper yourself. A full spa menu is available for you to choose that perfect service. Massage, manicure, pedicure? Why not! You’re on vacation!

Outdoor Pool and Water Playground

The Park at Water’s Edge offers a 4,200 square foot pool, water playground, and hot tub right on the resort property.

Crystal Coaster Alpine Slide

Looking for some fun? Try the Alpine Slide. Take the chair lift up and then ride down the mountain on a special sled on the 1,700 foot long course! So fun and we highly recommend.


Bring your own bike and rent one from the resort and check out the property by bike. There are specially marked bike trails to enjoy the scenery.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Beautiful! The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a national park located just a short drive from the resort. The park is known for its beautiful Lake Michigan beaches and sand dunes. Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and swimming in the park.


Enjoy a Crystal Mountain hike on the marked hiking trails around the mountain and property. See the great views and get some exercise.

Vertical Edge Climbing Wall

Challenge yourself on the 32′ climbing wall with the help of certified instructors! Only $19 per person for a 30 minute session.

Edge Adventure Course

Try out the adventure course which is located 20 feet above the pool. Ropes course and zip line course is a fun and exciting experience.

Outdoor Laser Tag

Have fun and play a game of outdoor laser tag!

Disc Golf

Disc Golf

Located on Crystal Mountain, a 9 hole disc course awaits you. Hike up or take the lift and enjoy a game and great views.

Tennis & Pickleball

Enjoy a game of tennis on one of their tennis courts or try out a game of pickleball and see why it is one of the fastest-growing sports out there! Rentals are available and courts are free to use for houseguests.

Family Campfire

Enjoy the outdoor propane fire pit to sit around and tell campfire stories. Sit under the stars and enjoy your vacation.

Family Crafts

Lots of crafts are available for those crafty kiddos! Build-a-buddy, Puffy Pillows, and puppet kits are just a few of the activities available for a small fee.


Crystal Mountain Resort is home to a number of restaurants, ensuring that you’ll never go hungry. The resort has everything from a casual pizza place to an upscale fine-dining restaurant, so there’s something for everyone. In addition, the resort also has a few bars where you can relax after a day on the slopes.

Waffle Cabin

Waffle Cabin Crystal Mountain
Waffle Cabin!

Do not miss this! Perfect around mid afternoon when you are skiing and need a little pick me up. Located near the mountain adventure zone at the base of Crystal Mountain, ski right up to this cute little cabin. Obviously, waffles are the feature here. Get them loaded up with chocolate, whip cream and sprinkles and have a hot chocolate to go with it! Yum yum yum!

Clipper Cafe

Located in the Lodge and the perfect spot for a quick bite while you are skiing, snowboarding or even cross country skiing. Serving soups, chili, burgers, fries etc, its a cafeteria style restaurant right at the bottom of the hill. Easy in and out.

Bru Bar

Nice little spot right at the Inn to grab a coffee or bakery item in the morning. We go every morning for our americanos and they are great. Or stop in at the end of the day for an Irish coffee or other cocktails, beer or wine. Casual, easy spot.

The Thistle

Our favorite dinner spot. Located in the Kinlochen, this is fine dining with the casual mountain feel. Grab a cocktail at the bar while you wait, which you will most likely have to with out a reservation. When you sit, start with the sirloin chili. Amazing. All the entrees we have had have been great. Seems like you can’t go wrong. Also open for lunch too if you want to stop in while you’re on the slopes for a nicer, longer lunch.

Wild Tomato

Family friendly spot with a decent menu. Easy and you can usually get a seat.

Betsie River Pizza & Subs

Betsie River Pizza
Betsie River Pizza and Subs.

Seems that we always find our way here at the end of a long day skiing and we just want to stay in. Open til 10, we usually grab a couple pizzas after we finish our night skiing and take them back to the room. Pizzas are always great and the boneless wings are solid too! Love this little spot.

Mountain Market

Mountain Market at Crystal Mountain
Mountain Market for all your needs.

Located attached to the Inn, a cute little grocery store to stock up you room with some essentials. We like to get stuff for breakfast here so we can eat quick and get out on the slopes! We also have our 4 kids so we load up some snacks. They have all the essentials plus some nice wines for the adults. They even have a few cute clothes and other souvenir options.

Crystal Spa

Get the shampoo and conditioner. Trust us. Smells so good!

Kinloch Pro Shop

Located in the Kinlochen, a cute pro shop for golf attire and other cute clothing items. High end stuff!

Mountain Sports

Forgot some gear? Need something new? Mountain sports has you covered with the latest and greatest gear. Located on the second floor of the lodge.

Peak Boutique

Located in the fitness center, the Peak Boutique features cute active wear, swim suits, shorts and jewelry. Stop in.

Water’s Edge Shop

Located at the Park at Water’s Edge, get your Crystal Mountain gear, kids stuff or other souvenirs.


Crystal Mountain guests have a variety of accommodation options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious suite, a nice hotel room, or a cozy family retreat, there’s something for everyone. We are just going to cover a few of our favorites

The Inn at The Mountain

The Inn at Crystal Mountain
The Inn at the Mountain Lodge

The Inn at the resort is the perfect spot for families and groups who are looking to be close to all the activities the resort has to offer. The Inn offers spacious suites with all the amenities. Location is perfect and can’t be be See our YouTube Tour of the Legacy Suite.

Legacy Suite at the Inn


Great spot and location as well. Steps to the slopes and golf course. Also where the Thistle Pub is located. Rooms have a fireplace and a full kitchen. Not a lot of rooms so it usually sells out quickly on busy weekends.


Storage Lockers at the Hamlet
Hamlet Ski In Ski Out Lockers

Perfect ski in ski out. They have lockers outside for your gear. I have literally skied right up to my locker. Can’t beat that. Nice basic rooms. Looks a little outdated from the outside but we have stayed there a few times and it always works out well for our family.

Mountain Top Accommodations

Going with a couple families and need some space? This is an awesome option. Located on top of Crystal Mountain, these two bedroom townhomes have it all, plus the amazing views! The slopes are your backyard. Ski in/ski out is an understatement.

Bungalows at Crystal Glen

Also located at the base of the slopes, right in between Kinlochen and the Lodge. These super cute bungalow residences have a living room and fireplace, full kitchen, dining area, and washer and dryer. So cute, check them out.
There are several other options at Crystal Mountain which really makes it welcoming. Rent a home on the property, or check out some of the other hotel/condo options. There is certainly something for you and your group.
If you’re looking for a little more space and privacy, consider staying at one of the private condos available on the resort grounds. These fully-equipped condos provide plenty of room for larger families, as well as access to ski-in/ski-out access.
For those who are looking for an intimate escape to the mountains, there are several resort cottages available at the resort. These cozy one- and two-bedroom cottages feature full kitchens, fireplaces, and private decks with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Packages and Deals

We usually get the ski package with our hotel. Quick, easy, the price is right. You get free skiing on the day of your arrival. Package up the lift tickets and hotel and you’re good to go. I’m on the email list and they frequently have deals so keep an eye out!


There are plenty of spaces for guests to park their vehicles at Crystal Mountain. If you are staying overnight, the Front Desk staff will direct you to the best place to park your car during your stay. For guests just visiting for the day, we recommend parking in Lots J – M near the base of the Loki chairlift, or Lots A – B near the Buck chairlift.

Insider Tips for Visiting Crystal Mountain

When it comes to making the most of your visit to Crystal Mountain Resort, there are a few insider tips that we can help you get the most out of your trip.

  • if you need rentals, call ahead! They sell out!
  • stop in the Bru Bar for your morning coffee. Yum
  • The Inn is the most centrally located and close to it all
  • Hamlet is awesome for Ski In/Ski out- the lockers are great
  • Take advantage of the night skiing
  • Get the Pizza from Besties at the end of a long day. Relax in your room and enjoy
  • Walk around and see how cute the town is.
  • The Mountain Market is your savior.
  • Go to the Thistle Pub
  • Book a message, your body will thank you after a long day skiing.

Take advantage of all the amenities that Crystal Mountain Resort has to offer. Whether you want to relax in the award winning Crystal spa, have a bite to eat at one of the restaurants, or shop in the resort boutiques, there’s something for everyone.

So keep these insider tips in mind and you’ll be sure to make the most of your visit to Crystal Mountain Resort!


Crystal Mountain Resort is truly a hidden gem in the Midwest, offering an abundance of activities and attractions for skiers, snowboarders, golfers, campers, hikers, and bikers alike. The resort’s stunning mountain views, world-class skiing runs, and variety of other outdoor activities make it a must-visit destination for Midwesterners looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

With its convenient location and abundance of amenities, it’s no wonder why Crystal Mountain Michigan has become a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts in the region.

We hope this blog has given you an insight into what makes Crystal Mountain Michigan such a unique and special destination in the Midwest. Whether you’re an experienced skier or a beginner, there’s something for everyone at this beautiful resort!

So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable outdoor experience in the Midwest, look no further than Crystal Mountain Resort!